The USF women’s soccer team announced its 2006 recruiting class Wednesday. Coach Logan Fleck received 11 letters of intent, nine from high school players and two from junior college transfers. With this year’s class, Fleck wanted to address the team’s speed, which was an issue last season.
“Last year we thought we were a little handicapped,” Fleck said. “We are so much faster than we’ve ever been, you need to be – the Big East is that good.”
Fleck’s large class can help soften the loss of seven seniors, including the top three point leaders on the team, Katie Reed (13), Erica Lewis (11) and Jenny Mulvihill, who was the Bulls’ top goal scorer with seven in 2005.
Besides covering the state of Florida, Fleck’s recruiting efforts led him to players from Colorado, Texas, New York and Fleck’s home state of Pennsylvania.
Mallori Lofton-Malachi is one of Fleck’s 11.
“She’s coming down from my hometown, Philadelphia,” Fleck said of Malachi. “She’s not only going to bring down cheesesteaks, she’s going to bring a heck of a lot of athleticism and ability. She’s a physical phenomenon.”
Fleck raved about another commitment, Apopka High’s Kym Newsome, calling her “one of the most exciting players in the state of Florida.” Newsome was named to the All-Central Florida Team in 2004 and 2006, while earning first team all-county and all-metro honors from 2004-05.
Fleck also received a commitment from Laura Engel, the 2006 Gatorade Player of the Year from Colorado.
“She had a foot operation her senior year and (didn’t) play a second her senior year,” said Fleck of Engel, who received the Gatorade honor for her senior season. “That’s how much respect I have for this young lady.”
Suncoast Community High School’s Siobhan Alexander and Kaneile Thomas, Shaena Bair of Everglades High School, Rachel Jakubowski of Trinity Prep High School, Stephanie Stopka of Gainesville High School and Anna Lea Crowe of Countryside High complete the rest of high school signees.
The two transfers are Gillian Fortune from Molloy College in Long Island, N.Y., and Autumn Browning from Southern Methodist University.
Fleck is pleased with his fast and big class.
“I’m pumped,” Fleck said. “We got some tools out there now we’re going to go after some people and show them that we’re here not to be a participant, we’re here to win this thing.”
Men sign two: Men’s soccer coach George Kiefer announced the signing of two more players, Diego Restrepo, a goalkeeper from Bradenton, and Anthony Wallace, a defender/midfielder from St. Petersburg, to its 2006 recruiting class.
Kiefer’s class is at four – Neven Subotic and Marc Dougherty signed earlier this year – and Kiefer said he plans on announcing more signees in the near future.
– Tony Marquis